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Helping island communities retain their beauty

When you think of a Pacific Island, there are certain images that immediately spring to mind: sun-drenched, white sandy beaches; gorgeous, clear blue oceans; luscious green palms and a general island paradise.

You don’t think about piles of waste.

But the fact of the matter is that all communities generate waste that needs to be disposed of. Even island communities.

And when you live on an island, safe and effective waste disposal is a big problem.

The remoteness that once seemed like an attractive feature, suddenly becomes a major logistical challenge.

What to do with island waste?

For those living and working on islands in the South Pacific, waste disposal is a concern of everyday life.

Given the limited space, there’s a lack of usable land for landfill waste, and shipping waste away is both costly and difficult—given the small waste budgets and the remote locations.

Burning waste on open fires can be a solution—but it’s dangerous to both communities and the natural environment.

It’s very easy for hazardous waste to build-up on these islands. This can be particularly dangerous when it comes from medical facilities.

Safely disposing medical waste

That’s why The Pacific Hazardous Waste Management Project (PacWaste), turned to INCINER8 for a solution.

PacWaste is European Union-funded project, implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), that aims to improve regional hazardous waste management across the Pacific.

One of the main challenges they were facing was how to dispose of medical waste in a safe, secure and cost-effective way on islands like Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Kiribati.

The output from medical facilities is composed of several different waste streams, including biohazardous waste, pathological waste and pharmaceutical waste. The proposed solution had to be capable of handling all types of waste.

Working side by side with local communities, our team at INCINER8 proposed a range of state-of-the-art healthcare incinerators.

Why? Because they allow for the quick and safe disposal of these hazardous waste streams, in accordance with internal guidelines and environmental regulations. They’re easily portable and can be installed on-site, minimising any carbon footprint and the cost of transporting waste.

And despite being specialist, dual-chamber medical incinerators, they’re easy to operate by local communities.

As Stewart Williams SPREP’s PacWaste Project Manager says,

“As well as providing a mechanism for the safe disposal of healthcare waste, the new incinerators will reduce the quantity of dangerous airborne contaminants, like dioxins, that previously occurred through the uncontrolled or low temperature burning of healthcare waste.”

INCINER8 installed 26 incinerators—in a range of sizes—at medical facilities across four Pacific islands—Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Now in operation, they’ve provided a safe, sustainable way to securely dispose of waste at these remote locations. They’re reducing waste output, protecting the environment, and improving public health—and they’re helping to preserve the natural beauty of these stunning places.

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